An A to Z on Thai currency

Thai Currency

It may be a surprise for many, but Thailand has one of the best-performing currencies in the world despite being a developing country. In fact, Thai currency is the 10th most frequently used currency globally was the best currency in the world.

The Thai currency is known as The Baht, and unlike other Southeast Asian countries, Thailand doesn't use US dollars alongside their local Thai currency. Thai Baht rules the country, represented by the symbol the ฿, despite the fluctuations in its exchange rate Thai Baht remained the sole proprietor in Thailand's monetary scene.

Though almost all the Thai locals are familiar with Thailand's currency, as a gateway destination, it is important for the visitors to get acquainted with the currency before arriving in Thailand. From lodging, food, traveling, everything that requires money, it is important to know the exchange rate and the working of the currency to be aware of scams and not run out of money.

Hence to ease your search and mind, here are basic things you should know about Thai currency, aka the Thai Baht.


Thai Baht


The legal tender of Thailand's currency: Coins and Notes

The Thai currency, Baht, is divided into 100 satang. The satang, though, is popular but are rarely used for transactions anymore because of their lower value. That is why Baht, which is a better performing currency, is seen to rule the monetary market of Thailand.

Thailand's currency has 1, 2, 5, and 10 baht coins, with ten being the most common and used one. In contrast, the Thai Bhat notes in green, blue, purple, red, and brown in color can be found in 20, 50, 100, 500, and 1000. Amongst which 100 is quite a popular and commonly used.

The Thai notes are made from cotton fiber and have their late King Bhumibol Adulyadej image on it one side and on the other have series of images representing the rich history of Thailand.

The exchange rate game: Thai baht to USD

It is no surprise that the US dollar has held a prominent position in the exchange rate market, undermining other currencies for years. Similarly, Thai currency has had its fair share of fluctuations of Thai Baht to USD throughout the 20th century as a result of the Tom Yum Goong (financial Asian crisis) in 1997, which decreased the value of Thai baht to USD from 25 to 56.

But gradually, over time, especially after Thailand became a popular gateway destination, the value of Thailand started to improve. Recently the USD exchange rate is 30 Baht per dollar which is said to be better in years to come. However, there have been some allegations that Thailand manipulates its currency to raise its value, but it is hard to believe since Thailand. Unlike its other neighboring countries, it only allows the Thai Baht to be rotated in the country without the use of any other currency such as the US dollar; hence the overall increase in its value seems legit and justified.


Baht & USD


Getting Thai Baht as a tourist

Thailand welcomes thousands and thousands of tourists every year and offers various packages to accommodate them. And as mentioned earlier in Thailand, only Thai baht is the currency that can be used; hence it is required for the tourist to exchange their currency for a functioning one.

Now Thailand has money exchange centers or kiosks in most international airports from where any amount can be exchanged, even from Thai banks too. But cashless transactions are also offered in Thailand. However, if you are using foreign cards (majority are accepted) at the ATM to withdraw Thai Baht or pay for something additional fee is charged, which is around 3% to 5% of the bill.

And if you don't mind additional charges and prefer cashless transactions, you need to inform your bank that you will be travelling beforehand, or else they will block the card. However,r though many places in Thailandaccepts cards, many markets and eatery places, especially on streets and festivals, don't accept cards. Therefore having cash in hand is a must If your cursing, and it's a wise move to have a small stash of in-hand money for emergencies. 

What to get with Thai baht?

In this section, we will cover things you can get with Thai notes, not the coins, as the amount of Thai coins is very small and not sufficient to get quite much. So here it goes, some of the things that can be purchased with one Thai baht bill of different amount;


20 Thai baht bill get you:

  • A couple of snacks at many night markets
  • Small size souvenirs at walking markets
  • The bus ride around Bangkok
  • Tuk-Tuk rides for short distances
  • Some microwavable instant food (if you happen to be in 7-Eleven, you can microwave your food free of cost)
  • Soft drinks and juices
  • The popular Mama cup noodles with boil water.


20 Baht



With 50 Thai Baht, you can get:

  • A proper meal and a local Thai restaurant
  • A big bowl of Pad Thai and a similarly large portion of food at night markets
  • Sky train and BTS rides
  • Beer and other types of drinks at a convenience store
  • A gondola ride at any floating market
  • A flowy dress or fabric





A 100 Thai Baht can get you:

  • A full course at any night market, from appetizers to desserts and drink
  • Coffee and other juices at western-oriented coffee shops
  • A large bottle of alcoholic beverages
  • Public and private commute for long trips
  • Shopping at local boutiques and international franchises


100 Baht



At 500 Thai baht, you can get:

  • Two-course meal at a Michelin star restaurant
  • All necessary ingredients to make a lavish meal at home
  • Bed in a great hostel or apartments at a moderate location
  • Cinema tickets and other recreational places
  • A full day at Spa home


500 Baht



The most expensive note of them all; a 1000 Thai baht note can get you:

  • Air-conditioned bungalow on the island
  • Exquisite meals
  • Private commutes
  • Expensive restaurants
  • In house services
  • Fully guided tour


1000 Baht


Tips for splashing your cash

Traveling to a different country can be daunting whether you are going for a vacation or permanently moving there; and if you happen to travel to a country like Thailand, one a very traditional and somewhat conservative country, you need to be cautious with everything you come across, even money for example; in Thai baht whether notes or coins you can see the image of this late King Bhunibol and historical images, Thai people take pride in it hence the legal tenders are supposed to be treated with respect, no shoving it in the pocket, or throwing it around or misusing it any manner.

Moreover, Thailand is a developing country, and though it has notes that go up to 100 Baht, commonly till 100 baht amount is generally used for transactions, so it can get quite challenging you get change for that amount, especially from street vendors. So it is recommended to carry change and especially 50 and 100 bills as they are easy to and widely acceptable. And in case you are stuck, find a local convenience store like 7-Eleven or a franchise such as Starbucks or McDonalds, and you can get change easily, though you might have to buy a thing or two from there.

Since Thailand is flooded with tourists usually, the chances of scams increase, too; just about a year or two ago, several news surfaced stated that fake Thai Baht circulated in tourist hotspots and created inconveniences for them. Don't be afraid to check the note's authenticity; check the hologram, security strip, watermark, or best get it checked from the local Thai bank for assurance and security. There are other features of checking, too; you can access them on the official Thai website.

Remember, Thailand can be an amazing place to visit and stay but before you make a decision to hop on the plane to travel to your destination, get acquainted with Thai currency; it’s working get a solid grip on their monetary transactions and legal tender to ensure a seamless visit or stay.